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The Famished Lover
The Famished Lover

The Famished Lover

In this much anticipated follow-up to The Sojourn, Alan Cumyn continues the story of Ramsay Crome, an artist who never quite came home from the First World War. The horrors of his years in a German prisoner of war camp continue to haunt him, as does the idealized memory of his long-lost sweetheart, his beautiful Margaret. It is those memories that literally save his life and keep him from a cold grave in a foreign land. Upon his return home to Montreal, Crome seeks the nourishment of body and soul, sometimes impulsively, after years of torture and deprivation. He meets Lillian, a farm girl from the Eastern Townships and is drawn to her youthful vigour, her innocence, and yes, her beauty. These prove to be a potent elixir and they marry quickly. By the time she is pregnant with their son, she wants nothing more than to escape the dreary poverty of their Depression-era existence and flee back to the farm with her husband and child. She wants him to love only her, to open up about his war experiences, explain the paintings she found of a nude Margaret. To her they are obscenities and provoke the bitter taste of jealousy.

The Famished Lover is Alan Cumyn's most mature and accomplished novel to date. It explores one man's hunger for love and meaning in a harsh, unforgiving world and the beautiful, yet corrosive, nature of longing.


Alan Cumyn is a master of strong fluid prose, startling humour in life's darkest moments, and characters compellingly human in their strengths and flaws. He is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including Burridge Unbound, finalist for the Giller Prize, and The Sojourn, the novel in which Ramsay Crome first appears.

"Powerfully understated." — Globe and Mail

"The Famished Lover is a compact, well-written and highly entertaining novel." — Literary Review of Canada

"Cumyn is an accomplished writer and The Famished Lover is both a complex and compelling read and also that rare thing — a sequel that is the equal of an excellent, moving original and in some way surpasses it." — Chronicle Herald

"An insidiously good writer, one who seems to pull finely pitched sentences from clear air." — George Elliott Clarke

"Alan Cumyn's talent for fiction is absolutely original." — Bronwyn Drainie

310 pages
Pub date: September 22, 2006